Home In On Additional Revenue
Posted on 12/06/2012
There are no technology barriers to home working but the UK’s traditional office-based culture first needs to be overcome to stimulate a significant rise in demand.
Distributor Nimans says successful resellers fully understand the individual needs of their customers to capitalise on what remains a “fairly mature” area of the market.
“I think the principle of lots of people working from home hasn’t materialised as much as first anticipated,” said Head of Systems, Paul Burn. “Sure, everyone is more mobile and more flexible in their working outlook but there are some fundamental inherent issues that are preventing any real mainstream shift in working patterns. The majority of people remain very much in the office.
“That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of opportunities out there. It’s just that home working isn’t really for everyone. The drivers are the same ones that have always been – location, is it cheaper to have people at home, or is there a need for field-based staff? Lack of control has always been the biggest concern for employers but continued advances in technology are helping them gain more confidence. UC is the most current example. There’s no restraints any more. The market is the market. I think it’s more a mindset issue from end users that needs to be overcome.”
He continued: “Ultimately there has to be a good reason to have a member of staff based at home. It’s very often a recruitment consideration based on if a company can’t find the best candidate locally they would consider a home worker. It’s very much a personal consideration surrounding the individual requirements of a business. Go back 20 years and it wouldn’t have been a real possibility, but now in theory home working can easily be embraced by any business, providing they want it. It’s not a decision about whether they can, it’s whether they want to. IP has undoubtedly opened up the market.”
Paul says cost of implementation is one of the biggest considerations along with what type of activities are required. “The traditional office can easily be replicated at home. The sales process is no different. Companies will generally require a handset and headset and possibly conferencing etc. Your work station is your work station wherever you are based, so the same up-sell and cross-sell opportunities exist. Sometimes resellers can perhaps lose focus here.”
He concluded: “Ultimately it’s about understanding your customer and identifying the reasons why they require a home worker. Is it a cultural or individual decision and do they require multiple users perhaps further down the line? There’s also the consideration of combining an office-based role with a home one. The good thing for a reseller is that the technology is in place, whatever the requirements.”